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Thin-Film Aluminum RF MEMS Switched Capacitors With Stress Tolerance and Temperature Stability

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3 Author(s)
Isak Reines ; University of California, San Diego, CA, USA ; Brandon Pillans ; Gabriel M. Rebeiz

This paper presents an RF microelectromechanical system switched capacitor which is based on a thin-film alu minum circular beam geometry that exhibits reduced sensitivity to both initial residual stress and stress changes versus ambient temperature. This novel design results in a pull-in voltage slope of -55 mV/°C from -5°C to 125°C, a capacitance ratio of 20 (Cu =50 fF, Cd = 1 pF), a down-state quality factor of 85 at 3127 MHz (Zd = -j50 Ω), and a switching time of <; 10 μs from 25°C to 95°C. The device symmetry also facilitates low-series-inductance compact device arrays for high-value capac itances. Both 2×2 and 3×2 device arrays are demonstrated with down-state capacitances of 3.95 and 5.89 pF, which result in switched impedances of 135-4 Ω and 91-3 Ω at 0.3-10 GHz, respectively. The array impedances vary as 1/ω over a 33:1 frequency range, with down-state quality factors of 50-60 at 541-806 MHz (Zd = -j50 Ω). The application areas are in high-linearity RF/microwave switches, phase shifters, and tunable matching networks and filters.

Published in:

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 1 )